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Unemployment up at 3.7%...AUG jobs under Trump HERE

Friday, October 6, 2017

September 2017 Unemployment Rate, Jobs

33,000 jobs lost, probably due to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.  Unemployment drops to 4.2%. 

This is the first drop in total jobs since September 2010 with a huge drop in the number of people employed in the "Food Services and Drinking Places" sector.   We won't know if this total drop was due to the hurricanes at least until the state employment reports for September are published later this month.

The September 2017 Jobs Report was released by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning, Friday, October 6. 

  • This was a very mediocre report, showing a loss of 33,000 jobs, the first loss in total jobs since September 2010.  
  • However, the unemployment rate dropped down to 4.2%, the lowest unemployment rate since February 2001.

Hurricane influence?

The jobs numbers were definitely affected by the severe hurricanes that hit the US in August and September, but we won't know how much of a factor these hurricanes were for a few weeks.  These jobs numbers may also represent a turn-around from a strong Obama economy to a weaker Trump economy, but we won't know for awhile.

What happened after Katrina?

Jobs numbers did go down in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Initially, 35,000 jobs were reported as lost in September 2005.  But as reports were amended and corrected, it was determined that 67,000 jobs were actually added in September 2005 and 84,000 jobs were added in October.  Job losses were reported in more sectors in September 2005; in today's report, job losses are really concentrated in the "Food services and drinking places" sector, which lost 104,000 jobs. 

The economy has been adding jobs consistently for 7 1/2 years now, so this reversal is noteworthy.  In 45 of the 83 months between early 2010 and the end of the Obama Presidency, 200,000 or more jobs were added.

September 2017 Job Report Highlights: 
  • The economy lost 33,000 jobs, the first drop since September 2010.  
  • The unemployment rate decreased by 0.2% to 4.2%.  The unemployment rate is reported in the Current Population Report, not the same report that reports the jobs numbers.  The CPS shows over half a million people entered the labor force in September, and about 900,000 more people are working in September, accounting for the drop in the unemployment rate.  (More about this below.)
  • Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 91,000 per month.  Over the past 12 months, job gains have averaged 148,000 per month.
  • Over the past 8 months, since Trump took office, job gains have averaged 140,000 per month.  In the last 8 months of the Obama administration, job gains averaged 209,000 per month.  In the 8 months ending a year ago, in September 2016, job gains averaged 219,000 per month. 
  • The number of employed people INCREASED by 906,000The number of unemployed people DECREASED by 331,000 as 575,000 people joined the labor force and almost all of them found work.  These are NET numbers.
  • 935,000 MORE people are working full-time and 81,000 MORE  people were working part-time in September vs. August.
  • There were 40,000 FEWER private sector jobs, and 7,000 MORE government jobs in September.  
  • The alternate unemployment rate (U-6) decreased to 8.3% this month.  A year ago the U-6 rate was 9.7%.  
  • The Labor Force participation rate has been VERY stable since 2014, varying between 62.4% and 63%.  It was 63.1% in September, an increase of 0.2% since August.  It has risen 0.2%  over the past year, since September 2016.
  • Remember that there is NO ideal labor force size, and most of the overall decrease in the labor force participation RATE over the last few years has been due to Baby Boomers retiring in great numbers.

Revisions from the last BLS report: 
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised down from +189,000 to +138,000, and the change for August was revised up from +156,000 to +169,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 38,000 less than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 91,000 over the past 3 months. 
  • Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi talks about this jobs report HERE.
  • Obama's final jobs numbers HERE.
  • Trump's million jobs:  Good or bad? HERE
  • How Many Jobs Added Under Trump?
    Report for August 2017 HERE

September 2017 reports: (Notation on the links will be changed to "UPDATED for September" when the updated reports become available over the weekend.  Not all reports are updated every month.)

More highlights and reports will continue to be posted here over the coming days and weeks.  Please check back!

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